After first coronavirus death, Jefferson County extends stay-at-home order and dining ban

A+sign+points+to+the+Mercy+drive-thru+testing+site+in+Chesterfield.+Mercy+has+also+opened+two+sites+in+Jefferson+County.+

A sign points to the Mercy drive-thru testing site in Chesterfield. Mercy has also opened two sites in Jefferson County.

The Jefferson County Health Department on Thursday announced the first death related to COVID-19 in Jefferson County, Missouri, followed by the extension of a stay-at-home order and a dining ban.

The resident was a female in her 80s who had been hospitalized, the county said in a news release.

“We are deeply saddened by this news,” Jefferson County Health Department Director Kelley Vollmar stated in the release. “Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends at this time.”

As of Thursday, the health department reported 54 known cases of COVID-19 in Jefferson County, including seven new cases. That compares to 663 known cases in St. Louis County and six deaths.

Also Thursday, Jefferson County Executive Dennis Gannon extended the county’s current state of emergency and stay-at-home order that was set to expire April 13.

Gannon also extended the ban on dining inside restaurants that was set to expire April 4.

Both are now extended until further order. 

Also, effective immediately, while the Jefferson County parks are to remain open, all playground equipment at the parks will be closed. 

The County Executive continues to urge responsible social distancing and for the citizens to only leave their homes for essential services,” the county said in its news release on the extensions.

Read the new executive order here: 

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/57f035cc9f745646c52342b9/t/5e865d48206bb54f8d78a661/1585864031941/20-030.6+COVID+19+Extension+Order.pdf

“Community spread is present in our community,” Vollmar said on the release of the new numbers Thursday. “And, unfortunately, we will continue to see this virus spread and case counts increase. It is important residents follow guidelines and regulations in place from government agencies across the nation, as well as in Jefferson County.”

The Jefferson County Public Health Preparedness team has started contact investigations and notifications regarding these cases. Those identified as coming into contact with the positive cases will be notified individually. Community residents who show symptoms or have questions should call the Missouri State Hotline at 877-435-8411 or the Mercy Clinical Support Line at 314-251-0500.

Mercy has opened two testing sites in Jefferson County, with a planned South County testing site near Mercy Hospital South on hold.

The Jefferson County Health Department continues to stress the importance of following guidelines and regulations in place from government agencies across the nation, as well as in Jefferson County.

“It is absolutely crucial,” Vollmar stated, “that everyone does their part to stop the spread of this disease in our communities.”